NEWS28 January 2013

MRS launches ‘trust mark’ for fair use of consumer data


UK — A new ‘trust mark’ signalling a company’s commitment to the fair use of consumer data is launched today by the Market Research Society.


The launch, coinciding with Data Privacy Day, has the backing of GlaxoSmithKline, Lil-Lets and PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as research agencies GfK, Millward Brown, Opinion Leader, Chime Insight & Engagement Group and Research Now.

Companies wishing to bear the Fair Data mark have to commit to 10 core principles:

  1. We will ensure that all personal data is collected with customers’ consent
  2. We will not use personal data other than the purpose for which consent was given, respecting customers’ wishes about the use of their data
  3. We will make sure customers have access to the personal data we hold on them and how we use it
  4. We will protect personal data and keep it secure and confidential
  5. We will ensure staff understand that personal data is just that – personal – and ensure that it is treated with respect
  6. We will ensure that the vulnerable and under-age are properly protected by the processes we use for data collection
  7. We will manage our data supply chain to the same ethical standards we expect from other suppliers
  8. We will ensure that ethical best practice in personal data is integral to our procurement process
  9. We will ensure that all staff who have access to personal data are properly trained in its use
  10. We will not use personal data if there is uncertainty as to whether the Fair Data Principles have been applied

Existing members of the MRS and Company Partners that adhere to the organisation’s code of conduct will already meet the Fair Data requirements. Those not already accredited by MRS will require a third-part audit by the ABC within 12 months of joining the scheme.

UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham welcomed the initiative as “a step in the direction of getting users of public data to make a public commitment to standards”.

Graham said: “If the public are to let their personal data be used then they need to know which organisations they can trust to use it properly. Organisation need to make a public, visible commitment to standards in the handling of the personal data of others.”

A Eurobarometer survey from 2011 found that 70% of EU citizens were concerned that their personal data might be used for purposes other than that for which it was originally collected. Meanwhile, the EU is busy overhauling its data protection rules to address such fears.

MRS chief executive Jane Frost said: “Public concern is at an all-time high and we are getting increasing numbers of complaints about data use. Fair Data is about fundamental respect for the people whose data we all rely on for commercial and public purposes and about getting to the very basis of the right way information should be gathered. I would urge everyone to actively support this initiative.”


1 Comment

12 years ago

excellent initiative, very useful in Indian context where we face huge public concern regarding privacy of their data. "If people a sure of their personal data use and be certain about their privacy, the participation will definitely add enormous value to data being collected."

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